Virtual Moving History – Bernie Whitebear: A Modern Warrior
💐 9/27/1937 – 7/16/2000 💐
Kurt Feldhun’s documentary on Bernie Whitebear, beloved Native American community organizer, features archival interviews and clips of Whitebear and some of his legion of friends, collaborators, and family, including Vi Hilbert, Joe DeLaCruz, Janet McCloud, and others. The film traces his story briskly from childhood, to the 1970 American Indian occupation of Fort Lawton, his contributions to the establishment of the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, and finally his own meditations on mortality during his cancer treatment.
This recording is available through Seattle Municipal Archives’ Seattle Channel digital collection.
“No one helped more Indians in need in the last century than Bernie Whitebear.” – Vine Deloria, Jr., Native author
- Seattle Municipal Archives’ online exhibit about the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, which gives a detailed overview of the occupation of Fort Lawton, the publicity and politics surrounding it, the lengthy negotiations that led to the establishment of the Center, and of course a great deal of Bernie background. This is an excellent resource that incorporates lots of supplemental materials from SMA!
- The broadest overview: Bernie Whitebear on Wikipedia
- Bernie Whitebear’s page on UW’s Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project website
- Bernie Whitebear: An Urban Indian’s Quest for Justice, written by Bernie’s brother Lawney Reyes – find it at a local bookstore!
- “Bernie Whitebear: The Colville Who Helped Shape Seattle” – Bernie memorialized in the Tribal Tribune
- Learn more about and support the organizations that Bernie helped establish: Seattle Indian Health Board, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation (headquartered at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, where you’ll also find Sacred Circle Gifts and Art, the Indigenous answer to curio shops that fetishize and inflate Native art while short-changing Native artists)
- Northwest Film Forum recently pledged to regularly commit 2% of their annual proceeds to REAL RENT DUWAMISH, supporting the Duwamish (Dkhw Duw’Absh) tribe, in acknowledgement that they owe their present existence to the United States’ theft of this land from its Native people. We hope that other organizations in this area will follow suit, especially considering that the Duwamish are still not federally recognized as a tribal entity, and therefore are ineligible for certain funding, services, legal protection, and rights of self-government. Sign this petition to help change that.
About [Virtual] Moving History
2nd & 4th Sundays, 4:30–5:30pm PT
MIPoPS is a nonprofit whose mission is to assist archives, libraries, and other organizations with the conversion of analog video recordings to digital formats according to archival best practices.
In order to adhere to social distancing best practices, MIPoPS is proud to partner with the Northwest Film Forum to bring you a weekly series of archival videotape documenting a diverse history in Seattle. Featuring a variety of material and topics, this series will curate a set of clips each second and fourth Sunday of the month to provide comic relief, local histories, music, poetry, and stage performance recordings, and much more.
MIPoPS hopes this series will educate and entertain viewers during this time of uncertainty and isolation.